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'Deepfakes' pose conundrum for Facebook, Zuckerberg says

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

San Francisco, United States   /   Thu, June 27, 2019   /   10:10 am
'Deepfakes' pose conundrum for Facebook, Zuckerberg says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook Inc's annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California, U.S. May 1, 2018. (REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday the leading social network is struggling to find ways to deal with "deepfake" videos which have the potential to deceive and manipulate users on a massive scale.

Zuckerberg said Facebook is trying to determine whether deepfakes are "a completely different category" of misinformation and added, "there's a very good case that they are."

Speaking at an on-stage interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, Zuckerberg said Facebook and others will face a challenge in dealing with deepfakes as they ramp up efforts to eliminate misinformation and that his company is still evaluating what to do.

"I do think that saying deepfakes are different from misinformation, is a reasonable perspective," he said.

"It is likely sensible to have a different policy and to treat this differently than how we just treat normal, false information on the internet."

The comments come amid growing concern over deepfakes -- which are altered by using artificial intelligence to appear genuine -- being used to manipulate elections or potentially spark unrest.

Earlier this month, Facebook's Instagram network decided not to take down a fake video of Zuckerberg himself, saying the CEO would not get special treatment.

Online platforms have been walking a fine line, working to root out misinformation and manipulation efforts while keeping open to free speech.

Zuckerberg said this is a constant challenge, repeating his position that Facebook should not be an arbiter of truth on the internet.

"I do not think we want to go so far towards saying that a private company prevents you from saying something that it thinks is factually incorrect to another person," he said.

Zuckerberg said Facebook has been stepping up efforts to combat manipulation efforts from governments including Russia but that its options are limited.

"As a private company, we don't have the tools to make the Russian government stop," he said.

"We've ramped up massively on the security side, but there's very little that we can do on our own to change the incentives for nation states to act. That's something that is a little bit above our pay grade."